Complex Made Simple

Saudi close to technical breakout; UAE firms in speculative trade

* Saudi index climbed 0.7 per cent in first 30 minutes to 6,950 points

* Banking and petrochemical sectors moved little

* Dubai’s index rose 1.0 per cent

Saudi Arabia’s stock market neared a bullish technical breakout in early trade on Tuesday while speculative activity in small caps boosted United Arab Emirates markets, though other bourses in the Gulf were little changed.

Saudi rising

The Saudi index climbed 0.7 per cent in the first half-hour to 6,950 points, its highest level since January 3. A close above major technical resistance on the April peak of 6,876 points would confirm a major double bottom formed by the January and October lows and pointing up to around 8,400 points in the long term.

As on Monday, the banking and petrochemical sectors moved little and much activity focused on smaller stocks.

Retailer Jarir Marketing, beaten down earlier this year by an economic slowdown due to low oil prices, jumped 5.2 per cent. Insurance stocks favoured by local retail speculators also surged, with Al Rajhi Takaful up 7.8 per cent.

Central bank data released on Monday suggested the government was bringing home large amounts of money from abroad and using it to pay debts to the private sector, which could boost economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Dubai rises as well

Dubai’s index rose 1.0 per cent as Dubai Investments surged 2.7 per cent.

Construction firm Arabtec climbed 1.6 per cent after it appointed Hamish Tyrwhitt as new chief executive; Tyrwhitt was chief executive of Australian contractor Leighton Holdings, since rebranded CIMIC Group, between 2011 and 2014.

Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.5 per cent, buoyed by banks, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank adding 2.1 per cent. Qatar’s index was flat, however.